Subversion of Women in A Scandal in Bohemia

Subversion of Women in A Scandal in Bohemia

Length: 819 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


Subversion of Women in A Scandal in Bohemia  

Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia" follows the story of the famous detective
Sherlock Holmes on his adventures to retrieve a damaging photograph. In
the society Watson describes, the apparent role of women is miniscule for
emphasis focuses on one woman who is the object of Holmes' detective
inquiries. In "A Scandal in Bohemia," society places women at a
subordinate level pushing them to the background therefore never allowing
us, the reader, to know them.
Watson describes women as second-class citizens at the start of the
story without directly saying so. When Watson says, "My own complete
happiness, and home-centered interests which rise up around the man who
first finds himself master of his own establishment were sufficient
enough to absorb all my attention," (212) he declares outright that he
wears the pants in the family, thus implying that his wife makes no
important family decisions. Since Watson is the "master" or ruler of his
own "establishment," he insinuates that the members of his family are his
servants not his equals. Watson's wife is a trivial character, clearly
evident because we never hear from her and never learn her name. On one
occasion, Watson spends the night at Watson's house on Baker Street
without once thinking to call his wife. Watson's behavior shows what
little respect he has for his wife. This blatant disregard for his wife's
feelings illustrates the insignificance of this woman.
The King of Bohemia displays another example of the lack of respect
given to women. His concerns do not center on his future wife becoming
aware of this affair but rather tarnishing his own image. The King fears
the revelation of this scandalous photograph for it lies on the hands of
a woman. His interests to dominate this woman are evident in the callous
actions the King directs towards Irene Adler. The King states, "Five
attempts have been made. Twice burglars in my pay ransacked her house.
Once we diverted her luggage when she traveled. Twice she has been
waylaid. There has been no result" (218). This disregard for Adler's
privacy questions the King's overall motives. Does he really want the
photograph or do his actions focus on hurting Irene Adler? The King wants
the upper hand on this beautiful, yet intelligent woman. The King's
attitude towards his future wife and his former lover, Irene Adler fits
into society's narrowly defined roles of women.
In this society, women were the nurtures and the protectors of the
children and what some deem as only monetarily valuable items. The female
instinct to nurture reflects in the personality of Irene Adler.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Subversion of Women in A Scandal in Bohemia." 123HelpMe.com. 15 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=3210>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Role of Women in Doyle´s A Scandal in Bohemia Essay

- ... This blatant disregard for his wife's feelings illustrates the insignificance that women have in Watson’s life. Watson’s particular standpoint on the significance -- or lack thereof -- of women served to be a common belief among other men during the Victorian era. Along with Watson, the King of Bohemia also displays lack of respect towards women. His concerns regarding the photograph do not center around his future wife learning of his affair and becoming outraged at his dishonest ways, but rather around tarnishing his own image....   [tags: homes, women, subordinate, detective]

Research Papers
894 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about A Scandal Of Bohemia By Arthur Conan Doyle

- As part of the Sherlock Holmes series, the short story, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” written by Arthur Conan Doyle, introduces the Victorian concept , “The New Woman.” The term “New Woman” describes noncomformist females as smart, educated, independent, and self-reliant. These women decided that they did not want to get entrapped into the stereotypical “Angel of the House.” The New Woman concept did not only apply to middle class women, but factory and office workers. These women put off marriage to make themselves an individual....   [tags: Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty]

Research Papers
1103 words (3.2 pages)

The Roles of Women and the Differences in Lifestyles in A Scandal in Bohemia and The Speckled Band

- The Roles of Women and the Differences in Lifestyles in A Scandal in Bohemia and The Speckled Band ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’ and ‘The Speckled Band’ are two short detective stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. They are set in England in the mid 19th century. Both of the stories are narrated by Dr Watson, who is one of the main characters. The other main character is Sherlock Holmes and he is an amateur detective. Both stories have a main female character and I am going to compare these female characters by looking at their personalities and the circumstances in which they live in....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1619 words (4.6 pages)

Gaining from Detective Work in Oedipus the King and A Scandal in Bohemia

- A detective story is a genre of fiction in which a person attempts to solve a crime. The detective may be a professional or an amateur, and generally has nothing to gain from solving the crime. However in Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King”, the main character Oedipus is not only determined to solve a crime, but he is also in pursuit to find his own identity. This is similar to Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia” where Sherlock Holmes has been hired to work as a detective in return for monetary compensation....   [tags: Sherlock Holmes, Detective Story, ]

Research Papers
1414 words (4 pages)

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Scandal in Bohemia Essay examples

- Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Scandal in Bohemia The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was written by Sir Arthur ConanDoyle. The novel was first published in 1892. A Scandal in Bohemia was a short story about a woman who has pictures of herself and a high Englishnobleman. She used them to blackmail him. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a novelist, a detective-story writer, and aphysician. He was born on May 22, 1859 and died on July 7, 1930. He beganwriting The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in 1890 and finished writing it in1892....   [tags: English Literature Essays]

Research Papers
1095 words (3.1 pages)

A Comparison and Contrast of Sherlock Holmes as a Criminal in “Charles Augustus Milverton” and “A Scandal in Bohemia”

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote both “Charles Augustus Milverton” and “A Scandal in Bohemia” in which he portrayed the infamous Sherlock Holmes as both a criminal and a detective. These dueling roles Holmes plays within the stories is unique for characterization of any character. The introduction of “A Scandal in Bohemia” illustrates Dr. Watson visiting Sherlock Holmes, as a casual friendly encounter, when a client enters with the gravest of problems. The client is a wealthy king, who has recently become engaged to a princess, but has had a previous affair with the beautiful and cunning Irene Adler....   [tags: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, short story analysis]

Research Papers
1590 words (4.5 pages)

The Watergate Scandal Essay

- June 17, 1972 forever changed both journalism and politics. A simple botched break-in marked the downfall of President Richard Nixon, and the rise to glory of two obscure young Washington Post journalists: Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. While their investigative journalism revealed the truth, their questionable methods and ethics have led to these questions; Do the ends justify the means. Was their behavior ethical and legal. The Watergate Scandal was a major political scandal during the Presidency of Nixon....   [tags: richard nixon, political scandal, corruption]

Research Papers
1189 words (3.4 pages)

Richard Nixon And The Watergate Scandal Essay

- What if your dreams never amounted to anything more than a dream. What would be the point of dreaming that dream. For the citizens of The United States of America, dreams were nothing but a lie, after Richard Nixon committed The Watergate Scandal. The Watergate Scandal was an authorized burglary of The Democratic National Headquarters,on June 17, 1972. A burglary that was authorized by the most powerful man in free world, Richard Nixon. The break in was an attempt to bug the Democratic Official 's offices....   [tags: Richard Nixon, Watergate scandal, Gerald Ford]

Research Papers
1147 words (3.3 pages)

Watergate Scandal And The Watergate Crisis Essay

- Watergate Scandal In June of 1972 there was a conspiracy involving president Richard Nixon and many of his staff members. They were trying to tamper with the reelection campaign of the president in the next term by tapping telephones, taping locks, and breaking into the office of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which was located in the Watergate building in Washington D.C. to steal secret documents. The government was not initially sure of the president was directly involved due to the fact that he had taken many steps to cover his tracks, including raising ‘Hush Money’ for the people involved and firing anyone proving to be uncooperative to his scheme.He also tried to stop...   [tags: Richard Nixon, Watergate scandal, Gerald Ford]

Research Papers
1118 words (3.2 pages)

Subversion of Class and Gender Roles in Jane Austen's Persuasion Essay

- Subversion of Class and Gender Roles in Jane Austen's Persuasion         In Jane Austen's Persuasion, Mrs. Croft makes but few appearances and delivers little dialogue.  Nevertheless, Austen gives her significant narrative and thematic importance.  Mrs. Croft provides a foil for several of the Elliots, while developing a commonality with the frequently ostracized Anne.  This bond between Mrs. Croft and Austen's heroine valorizes Mrs. Croft's radical views concerning feminism and marriage.  Beyond signifying a paradigm shift in such social morals, though, the roles of Admiral and Mrs....   [tags: Austen Persuasion Essays]

Research Papers
1960 words (5.6 pages)

Related Searches

Watson
acknowledges this nurturing instinct when he says, "but I know that I
never felt more heartily ashamed of myself when I saw the beautiful
creature against which I was conspiring, or the grace and kindliness with
which she waited upon the injured man" (225). This willingness to help is
a quality Watson, as well as other men in society, felt should be a
quality all women possessed. Women also serve as protectors of those
people or things, which cannot help themselves. Holmes explains to Watson
a woman's natural behavior upon encountering an obstacle by saying, "A
married woman grabs at her baby; an unmarried one reaches for her jewel
box" (226). This line implies that marriage and babies go hand in hand.
Was a woman only married to procreate? It seems Sherlock Holmes thought
so. He did not say an unmarried woman reaches for her child but she would
reach for a jewelry box, a material thing. The unmarried woman reaches
for a baby and not a jewelry box.
In a society in which women's roles were subordinate to men, Irene Adler
is the only woman in this story who actually has a personality. Her
character unfolds throughout the story. She serves as a significant
character because most of the plot centers on her. The King fears this
woman scorned will seek revenge and as a result tarnish his image. His
apprehension towards his marriage announcement is solely because of a
woman, whose independence scares him. Throughout the story, Sherlock
Holmes tremendously underestimates the intelligence of this woman. He
automatically assumes she will lead his directly to the photograph.
Rather than succumbing to the deceit of Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler
outsmarts the clever detective using his own tricks.
The narrowly defined roles of women were evident for the only means to
discuss women in this story is through their relations with men. No
woman, not even Irene Adler, has her own story. After all in the end,
even Irene Adler runs away with a man. Out of the five female characters
mentioned or alluded to in this story, only one is given a name and
personality. This lack of female representation shows how dominant males
were in the society of the story and in the society of the real world.
Return to 123HelpMe.com